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Toni Duggan has backed Andy Spence to follow in Mo Marley’s footsteps and keep Everton Ladies challenging at the top of the Women’s Super League next season.

Spence was installed as the Blues' new manager last week after stepping up from assistant manager, a role he had occupied for the past eight years.

Marley ended her successful 10-year stint as boss following the end of the 2012 campaign, after deciding to focus full-time on her role as manager of the England Women Under-19s side.

Everton Ladies secured third position last season, finishing behind champions Arsenal and second-placed Birmingham City.

And 21-year-old forward Duggan, who ended the campaign with five goals, says Spence’s experience of coaching the current squad makes him the perfect appointment moving into 2013.

“I'm delighted that Andy has been rewarded with the job,” she said. “Personally I don't think there was anyone better for the Club. He knows the players inside out and he knows the Club inside out.

“People talk about how dedicated and passionate Mo was for Everton and the same goes for Andy. His hard work over the years has paid off and now is the time for him to step up and put his own stamp on the squad.”

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